6 Tips for Overcoming Post-Holiday Blues

I always feel a bit blue the day after Christmas. The presents are opened, vacation’s almost over, and the eggnog will soon be disappearing from the grocery store. If you also have a bit of the post-holiday blues, here are a few ways to overcome them. Play a Game with the Family I have a very competitive family, so we love to play games around the holidays and…
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Should You Replace a Refrigerator?

Last week our new fridge was finally delivered, and this weekend we spent quite a bit of time reversing the door so it swung the right away. So, first, a few tips on determining when it’s time to replace a fridge, and then a few tips on reversing a refrigerator door. When It’s Time to Replace a Refrigerator Our apartment refrigerator had been making some rather distressing sounds…
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Guest Post: How Much Does a $100 Coat Cost?

Today features another guest post from Bradd. This time he encourages us to think about the true cost of goods we buy. It may have you thinking twice before you pick up that sale item this holiday season. With the end of the year and the Christmas shopping season coming up, I’ve been thinking recently about taxes and the prices of goods.  And a new coat. Maybe I’m looking…
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Avoid Wasting Milk with These Substitions

I don’t drink milk or eat cereal, and neither does my husband, so it’s tough for us to use up milk before it goes bad. We do now buy a half-gallon every other week, but it’s used entirely for yogurt, leaving none for other purposes. That’s fine with me. Over the years, I’ve found several milk substitutes that are great for cooking and baking. Lactose-Free Milk I used…
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Remembering When Birthdays Were More Important than Swine Flu – at the Carnivals

Yeah, it’s  a stretch, but it’s the best I could do. First up, the Carnival of Personal Finance #203 hosted by Weakonomics.  In addition to my post about the real estate offer process, I also recommend Steadfast Finance’s reminder that your income really does matter, even with home prices down. Second, the Festival of Frugality hosted by Always the Planner. In addition to my post about the home office deduction, I also recommend Free From Broke’s…
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Preparing for Taxes: Deducting Charitable Donations

On Friday, I recommended that you avoid buying consumer goods to help a cause, and instead send a cash donation. If you’re able to itemize your tax returns, you get a nice bonus for your donation in the form of a tax deduction. You have to be careful that the organization you donate to actually qualifies for tax-exemption, but you can also deduct some non-cash donations and other surprising things.…
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That Makes Me Stabby: Resort Fees

This weekend, my husband and I went to Las Vegas and encountered the most ridiculous resort fee ever. My only previous encounter with a resort fee occurred at an actual resort and included “resort” items like two free bottles of water per day (useful at a Disney resort), towel service at the pool, and similar amenities. The fee was still somewhat ridiculous, but at least it provided something…
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Reducing Winter Energy Costs

I’m blessed to live in Southern California. The shiny brochures advertise it as the land of the sun, sand, and surf. That’s true – in the summer. For those of us who live here, winter is cold. Visitors from say, Iowa, may be content to walk around in shorts in January, but Southern Californians are ready to crank up the heat when the temperature dips below seventy. (I…
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Welcome 111th Congress: Get to Work!

The 111th Congress officially convened on January 3, but since that was a Saturday, they officially got to work today. Rather than waste time declaring national observances, I want them to hit the ground running, so I’ve prepared a to do list of things for them to accomplish in 2009: Fix the economy Fix the environment Fix healthcare Fix retirement It’s a short list, so totally doable, right?…
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When to Say Yes or No to a Christmas Gift Exchange

This year my mom proposed nixing one Christmas gift exchange. We cancelled another one last year. My husband and I will be out of town for the first of two potential white elephant exchange. I haven’t decided yet whether to join the second one, if it happens. Frankly, I’m relieved to be sitting them out. So when do you say yes or no to a Christmas gift exchange?…
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